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Review: 852751 Pirates Chess Set

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51 replies to this topic  – Started by einsteinonthebeach , Aug 23 2009 02:50 AM

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#1 einsteinonthebeach


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Posted 23 August 2009 - 02:50 AM

LEGO has kept this one a secret!  As of this review date it is still not on SaH and already sold out at the LEGO Store at the Mall of America. We only received 8 copies of this lovely set and they latest less than a day. But is this the army builder to end all army builders (for pirates that is)? Read on to find out.

Set #:852751
Item #:4563624
Set Name:Pirate Chess Set
Year of Release:2009
Number of Pieces:289
Minifigures:24 plus 2 monkeys
Price:US $49.99

Part 1: Box

The Front

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The front design is very well suited for the pirate theme. The dark blue is a lovely color choice.

The Back

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The back lays out all of the specifics of set.

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Our cast of characters. The selection is really nice. You get all of the harder to find figures in one set!

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An action shot, for those who don't know what a chess set might look like.

The Side

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Here is the nice latching device. It is a very nice touch and keeps all the pieces secure for transportation.

The Inside

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Here is the inside. The chess board is held in with 4 small Velcro pads. The figures each have a small molded area for storage. The fit is looser on some, notice the King on the Imperials.

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Here is the picture underneath the chess board. This is a very helpful tool not only for those who are just learning chess, but also for those who need a friendly reminder about which piece is which.

The Board

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Your standard chess board. The 4x4 plates are NOT glued down, and the 32x32 base plate is green.

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The bottom of the board. Notice the Velcro pads. I haven't tried pulling them off but I'm sure that wouldn't be an issue.

The Figures


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Pawns. Lovely!

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Rooks. Decent design. Good supply of window frames.

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Knights. The weakest piece of the set. Using a cannon or parrot would have been more suited for pirates. These pieces feel as though they belong in a Castle chess set.

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Bishops. Double swords! For army building purposes, LEGO really should have used this hat with the pawns and visa versa.

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King and Queen. The crown jewel of the set. The queen figure is lovely and is now going to be much more affordable for collectors!


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Pawns. This is the reason to get this set! The variety in these figures is top notch!

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Rooks. Same design as the Imperials. The crows nests are a nice touch.

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Knights. The best piece of the set! Not only is it a monkey piece, but it's a monkey with a knife. Now that is one chess piece you do not want to mess with!

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Bishops. Standard pirate, nothing too special. Again the double swords is nice.

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King and Queen. The standard figures. Although notice that the pirate wench has the dark green dress on in this set instead of standard legs.

Overall Shots

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Conclusion: I am very pleased with this set. It works great as an army builder and good as a chess set. I would recommend it for both. The figure variety is great and the weapon/accessory selection is excellent! The only cons I see with the figures is that the base of the rook piece comes off easily when playing, and because the 4x4 base plate pieces are not glued down, they sometimes will come off during play. Also, the Imperials' knight design is not suited for the pirates theme.

The box design is great. I do hope the dark blue color scheme will continue with pirates in 2010. The box is sturdy enough for transporting the set around, and the molds for the figures makes it all the more easy. The one thing that would have helped would be a handle on the side.

I must address one more issue that has been talked about more recently in the forums. The figures do appear to be of a lesser quality than standard figures found in sets. The hands are a different shade of yellow and the neck stud on the torso is missing the black mark. For further information concerning this issue please see Apache's thread: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=32278. I personally do not mind the slight difference in the figures. The number of figures that you get for the price offsets and concerns I have with this issue. To quote Joey Lock, "Despite the quality, you won't exactly see the detailing on a collar [or hand] if your looking at an army of 150 men..."

Design:8/10 The rook designs could use some MODing
Playability:9/10 Endless hours of chess playing!
Minifigures: 9/10 If you can look past the slightly lower quality in the minifigures, this is an excellent set for army building!
Price: 9/10 About $2 per figure, plus all the great weapons/accessories. Adding a couple of cannons and parrots would have raised it to a 10.


Full brickshelf gallery (when public): http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=397988

PS: This being my first review at EB, and feedback and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by Phred, 02 May 2015 - 09:05 PM.

#2 Svelte

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:08 AM

Thanks for this review! This one is a surprise - although, with all the other Piratey accessories, I guess we probably should have been expecting something like a chess set along the line :laugh:

It looks nice, but the fig issue is a deal breaker for me. I can't help but think that with all the Tic-Tac-Toe, Battle Packs, magnets, and now these huge Chess Sets in production there are going to be even more of the crappy quality figs in circulation than there will be normal, regular ones  :pir-sceptic: I don't think a lessening of quality should be tolerated under any circumstances - if it starts at such a large scale here, where will it end? - and hopefully Bonaparte can whup their behinds  :pir-devil:

I do think it's great that it's quite simple in design with the knights and so on, I'm sure there are lots of Pirates fans that could unpack some boxes and assemble their own version of this Chess set almost instantaneously! :laugh:

#3 UsernameMDM

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:11 AM

Two pirates sets (this and tic tac toe) that would have been awesome.  Dern those lower quality minifigs!

#4 prateek

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:40 AM

Great review! I'm kinda concerned of the quality. Is the quality difference very noticable or is it very small?

#5 Tom Bricks

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:28 AM

I would have certainly bought this if the pawns has shakos. Now though, because of this and the lower quality I'm not sure. :pir-sceptic:
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#6 Rick

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:16 AM

I will not sponsor TLG for releasing inferior quality... so I'll stay away from this. Besides the shakos being on the wrong figures, there's also the lack of epaulets on the soldiers' side. The inclusion of daggers (and chicken legs :pir-blush: ) is nice, I hope we'll see those in the 2010 Pirates line more often.

Edit: anyone notice the bad photoshopping on the left soldiers' rook?  :pir-oh:
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Edited by Rick, 23 August 2009 - 08:19 AM.

#7 David Thomsen

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:31 AM

I'm charmed by the pirates fighting with bits of chicken and fish. I might include that in my own designs in the future. Also, I was wondering why they didn't give any of the pirates daggers at the start of the line... it seems a natural weapon for them.

However... inferior quality parts? If I wanted them, I would have bought that cheap Skull Island knock-off I saw in a supermarket last year.
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#8 Princess Muttonchops

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 09:36 AM

Lego chess sets are just so practical and stylish.  We have a Knight's Kingdom chess set, which is great for those long-running, epic battles (not that we play too much these days, I get too grumpy when the Walrus beats me  :pir_laugh2: ).  From that point of view, you might be able to overlook any difference in minifig quality.  It is however alarming if this trend of sub-standard manufacture continues.  Let's just hope the lesser-quality minifigs are the product of an out-sourcing mistake, and that Lego are just using them up while rectifying the situation...

#9 parchioso


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Posted 23 August 2009 - 02:16 PM

Thanks for the great review, it is very good work.

I actually had a chance to buy this chess set 3 weeks ago when I did my review for the Pirates Tic Tac Toe, but I did not get it because I have too many "chess sets" at home already, compared to Tic Tac Toes, they occupy more space, although the pricing seems to be quite economical as well (USD 19.99 for 10 minifigs vs USD 49.99 for 24 minifigs + 2 monkeys + 2 horse heads + 4 rocks), the soldiers do not have epaulettes is a big minus.

For army building I still prefer the Pirates Tic Tac Toe over this one, as collector item, I would wait patiently. Based on pricing history, Tic Tac Toes does not seem to depreciate as bad as the chess sets, I expect to get this Pirates Chess set when it is sold at discounted price like the fate of the Castle Chess set today.

Edited by parchioso, 23 August 2009 - 02:56 PM.

#10 Emperor Claudius Rome

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:20 PM

Tricorne's gallor :pir-wub:

I am defiantly getting this. And the red bandana's. Awsome!
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#11 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 05:22 PM

I was thinking "Does he mean tic-tac-toe?"

This did come out of no where, they really need to release more of these.  I think a city one would work well, maybe even a Power Miner one.  Lego chess sets are always neat.

#12 Athos

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 05:38 PM

Looks like we get to enjoy the simple pleasure of a monkey knife fight...


#13 Fluyt


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Posted 23 August 2009 - 05:56 PM

This really is a surprise, great review  :thumbup:
The set on the other hand... not as great as it could have been. I like the accesoires, esp. the daggers and fish, but the pirate pawns are all of extremely common pirates (especially bad with the anchor/vest pirate, since it isn't really a generic torso as the striped torso is). +the imperial pawns lack epaulettes, although you do get lots of replacement epaulettes with the pirate sets so that wouldn't be too hard to fix, the tricones are acceptable for me, but I think a lot of people would have preferred the shako's for them. Add to that the top-heavy rooks and the poor quality (an instant no-buy for me, even if the set would be awesome) and unfortunately it really isn't that great in my opinion.

#14 mattb483


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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:16 PM

This set looks worth buying!!! I mean i know the figs have cheap dis colored hands but the solution for that is eBay!!! Just buy a bulk lot of lego minifig hands for a few bucks! And who cares about the epaulettes you get tons of extras in all the new sets!!

#15 Front

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:23 PM

If people think there are two kind of minifigures, I think you are completely wrong.
Just because some arms in newer moulds have been added the cavity number, does not mean it's lower quality.

But there might be some issues with the materials. But we have seen that with regular bricks too.

#16 Zorro

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:33 PM

If this set is released into my local store down here in Belgium, I will certainly buy one!
I also love the basic pawns but I really would have chosen for shako's if I were the LEGO designer of this.

#17 JimBee

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:06 AM

Thanks for this review! This was totally unexpected, though it was a pleasant surprise. I am definitely going to have to grab this one the next time I visit a Lego store, along with the Castle chess set (if it's still available). The variety of figures is awesome (normally, I like all of the pawns to be the same, but this is great for minifig collecting), and it looks like the red bandannas are making a comeback.  :pir-wub:

The price is bothering me, though. 24 great figures blue a giant baseplate and some other parts for 50 USD sounds like a good deal. But on the other hand, I could find most of the figure and fig pieces in the other Pirate sets (most of which I was planning on getting), which may hold a better value than this set because of the pieces and that they are individual sets themselves.

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#18 Buckshot


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Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:10 AM

I'll probably get this once it's available on SaH--partly because I want to see what these "lower quality" peices are like.  

Too bad about the shakos.  It's odd since the all the other foot soldiers have come with them.

#19 Apache

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 05:05 AM

Thanks for the review Einstein, knew these would come out eventually, but interesting how LEGO snuck them into stores without anybody getting pics.  I agree with on on those Soldier Knights, should of been Cannons, or a soldier with red legs and red epaulettes.  I do love chess, but would probably only get this for figs, and I'm saving my money for Soldier Arsenals and Cannon Battles when they go on clearance.  Also hoping there will be another run at Pirates in 2010. It would be sad if it was one and done.

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#20 salty tbone

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 06:39 AM

Thanks for the nice review and pictures. I feel bad for the pawn forced to go into battle with just a fish.  :pir_laugh2:

#21 David Thomsen

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 07:17 AM

View Postsalty tbone, on Aug 24 2009, 06:39 PM, said:

Thanks for the nice review and pictures. I feel bad for the pawn forced to go into battle with just a fish.  :pir_laugh2:
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#22 Big Cam

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:37 PM

Great review, I do have one suggestion, eliminate the crack in your whit background, it takes from the pictures, which were great by the way.

#23 Lego_Warlord_8


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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:36 PM

I think the $50 and the limited amount of accessories make the TTT set a bettter bet.  :pir-classic: A little accidental rhyming there.  :pir_laugh2:   The pawns are missing back-packs and shakos, not cool.   But the monkeys with the knives are hilarious.   Great review, as Big Cam said, the big ole crack should be fixed.   :pir-classic:   ~SR~
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#24 BeKindRewind


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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:49 PM

It's been mentioned by a couple people, but I think the real thing missing in this set is cannons.  Why are there horses? (besides the obvious...they are knights.)  Maybe they are too long or something but I think it was a pretty big oversight.

I do, however, love how the pawns have different "weapons".  Very comical.

#25 CDC


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Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:35 PM

I wont be getting pirate chess set but i hope they will release other sets soon. I want em, i need em.

Edited by CDC, 24 August 2009 - 11:36 PM.

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